And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” [Genesis 15:5]
Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. [2 Corinthians 6:11 Message]
For many, when they first find Jesus and become a Christian, amazing things happen. Life changes in dramatic ways. Maybe that is your story. Remember ~ you discovered a new sense of purpose for life, found freedom in God and began to live life according to the truth of God’s word. It was like a whole new world. Some have described that feeling of liberty like seeing in full, high definition colour. The lights have well and truly been switched on.
So how’s the journey now? Why is it for some of us as we read this, that life-changing moment just doesn’t seem to have the same effect anymore. The fizz has definitely gone and our walk with God is just a little flat.
- Why did we begin to ‘settle?’
- When did we let ourselves ‘make do?’
- What caused us to stop believing in the bigness of God?
- Where did our child-like wonder of all that God can do vanish to?
- When did we start to fence ourselves in, bring the lines in on what was possible in our lives, and make the boundaries smaller?
A narrow view of life may be easier to handle but it’s not the life that Jesus wants us to have. The wider view that God has called us to, a bigger view of life, one that only God can bring about is the one He won for us at the cross.
Here’s what I think we often forget about the wider view God wants us to embrace…
God’s imagination for what our life can be is way bigger than ours. Think about, God told Abraham he would have descendants that were numbered like the stars. Too many to count. That is impossible in the natural. A little scary and overwhelming to most people. what if God shows you something like that, something too big to handle. A God-given view of your life is always bigger than the one you can imagine for yourself.
God wouldn’t show us the view if he wasn’t going to help us to handle it. God is in this with Abraham. It’s God’s vision for Abraham which makes it God’s responsibility to make it happen.
A wider view is only possible by stepping outside of what we know now, a narrow view. Abraham was made to separate himself from certain constraints. Being inside the tent narrowed is view. he could have looked upward but would have only caught a glimpse of what God was wanting to show him. Sometimes we have to move away from the things that limit what we see.
The wider view is built by faith. Abraham had to see it, catch it in his heart and then take a hold of it by faith. If Abraham hadn’t exercised his faith to trust that God could accomplish it, then maybe it wouldn’t have happened. To take God at His word always involves faith.
Let this be our attitude as we walk with God, embracing the bigness of all that He has for us now and in the future. It will take faith and a confident trust in God’s ability to accomplish it.